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'Farmer patience wearing thin' over BPS delays, NFU Cymru warns

NFU Cymru has warned the Welsh Government that the situation regarding delayed BPS payments is completely ’unacceptable’.
Farmers are now applying for 2016 BPS payments, with many not receiving their 2015 payment yet.
Farmers are now applying for 2016 BPS payments, with many not receiving their 2015 payment yet.

With significant numbers of Basic Payment Scheme and agri-environment payments still outstanding, NFU Cymru has warned the Welsh Government that farmer patience is wearing extremely thin.

 

“Nearly five months into the payment window we are very concerned that hundreds of farmers across Wales have yet to receive their BPS part payment,” union president, Stephen James, said today (Wednesday, March 30).

 

Unacceptable

 

“The situation is unacceptable especially when you consider that the Welsh Government made the decision last year to introduce part payments in an effort to ensure timely delivery of the new Basic Payment Scheme.

 

“I am particularly concerned for our cross border farmers who have not yet been paid as a result of the failure of the paying agencies in England and Wales to effectively share data,” he added.

 

“Farmers are struggling following a difficult winter, costs have mounted as a result of record rainfall and commodity prices remain depressed, meaning cash flow is a major issue on all farms.

 

Critical period

 

“While we praised Welsh Government for making an excellent start with BPS payments last December, the weekly trickle of payments seen so far in 2016 has been disappointing.

 

“Farmers are entering the critical period of 2016 Single Application Form completion with many not knowing what has happened with their 2015 application.

 

“For those not paid, the Welsh Government will now have had their 2015 application form for nearly 11 months -- surely long enough to validate an application form.

 

’Must act now’

 

“The Welsh Government must act now and ensure the situation is brought to a conclusion with those yet to receive their BPS dues are paid immediately and balance payments to all are made promptly in April.”

 

Mr James said there were also concerns with the slow delivery of agri-environment payments.

 

Glastir

 

“Glastir payments are normally made from November each year but here we are six months later with a significant proportion of farmers yet to receive agri-environment support,” he said.

 

“Many farmers who will have changed farming practices and altered stocking levels in order to enter Glastir are now, in effect, being penalised as a result of a failure of Welsh Government delivery.”

 


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